Thursday, April 30, 2009

D-day results!

Aatha naan paasaayiten!!!

[Finally done! Now its Alpine, M.S.!! Two years of work bore fruit... looking forward to 15 days of laziness!! Thanks for all your wishes and prayers!]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

போனால் போகட்டும் போடா!!

I might hit myself on the head later for writing this post today. But, I'm still going to write it. Yesterday, I was all strung and needed a friend to take me to coffee and give some gyan (அதாங்க, அறிவுரை!). I even started writing a post about the list of things I was glad for (ugh! what was I thinking? I mean I can write such a list but it was dripping of sap, I tell you!). Something sane stopped me from actually publishing it and becoming the laughing stock of my blog world.

Today, I'm all fine and ready to handle the matters of the world. The day started with some code handover (என் code படிச்சா எனக்கே immediateaa புரியாது (genius code னா அப்டி தானு சொல்றீங்களா? அதுவும் correct தான் :D), இதுல என் ஆசிரியர் அத படிச்சு புரிஞ்சு... ஒரே கூத்து தான் நடக்க போகுது!) followed by a presentation session. Finally, I was confident that I can do well in the D-day (இன்னைக்கு தான் நானும் pass ஆவேன்ர நம்பிக்கை வந்து இருக்கு... நேத்து வரைக்கும், செம பயம் தான்! அதான் sappy mood!). Now, here I am, sitting in the library (one of the least used spaces during my grad life; more on it later) with an iced tea in hand and trying to remember what else I need to get done.

Some senti stuff: I saw a friend of mine (அவங்களுக்கு என் பாட்டி வயசு! அப்டியே என் பாட்டி மாதிரியும் இருப்பாங்க... ஆனா, friendnu தான் சொல்லணும்) today and got all the more confident (ஒரு நெனைப்பு தான்! பாட்டியே வந்து "நீ நல்லா tear பண்ணிடுவ"னு சொல்றது போல இருந்தது). Also I saw exactly 3 CGs but yet to see my favorite one still(I don't think I'll see my fav CG for its been a rare sight to do so this sem! But the day is still not over! ) (Normally, 3 per day is a high rating for my university. Either, its the day or my mood or the weather!!) .

I got to finish some stuff at the library and am sitting in the till-now-never-used-by-me alcove in a plush chair (இந்த super எடத்த இவ்ளோ நாள் miss பண்ணிடெனேனு இப்போ செம feelingaa இருக்கு. சரி அதுக்கு என்ன பண்ண முடியும்? இன்னொரு semaa படிக்க முடியும்? போனால் போகட்டும் போடா தான்!) And, I had this attack of non-library-usage-in-the-past-two-years. I would've taken more story books and novels from here than tech books (I refer tech books online. எப்டி தான் அந்த காலத்துல, மக்கள் libraryku வந்து books எடுத்துட்டு போய் refer பண்ணி research pannangalo? Research flow மறந்து போகாதா? இருக்கிற எடத்துல இருந்துட்டே, googlela search பண்ணி, மறுபடியும் codea பார்த்தா, எங்க பார்த்தோம் எதுல விட்டோம்னு யோசிக்க வேண்டியதா இருக்கு... இதுல libraryku போய், தேடி எடுத்துட்டு வந்து, research code adikarathuna, அப்றோம் நான் degree வாங்க, atleast 5 yearsaavathu ஆகும்... அந்த காலத்து மக்கள் great தான்! நம்ம generationku தான் attention diversion ரொம்ப ஜாஸ்தி ஆயிடுச்சு! ஹ்ம்ம்! எல்லாம் technologyoda side effects தாங்க! நம்ம சொல்லி குத்தமில்ல!) and have been introduced to various new authors(from Russian to Korean to African). I wouldn't have explored their writing unless I had a ready place to do so.

But, seeing the thousands and thousands of books neatly stacked in shelves over 6 floors gives me the guilty feeling of not having used even a millionth of these available resources. (நான் இதெல்லாம் use பண்ணாமயே படிச்சு passum ஆக போறேன்! கஷ்டம்! சரி, எல்லாம் ஒரு talent தானு வச்சிகோங்க!) But as I think of other resources like the GamePlace, GymPlace, EatPlace, LabPlace, GradPlace, Buildings and ConfPlace (I've changed the names of it all - யாரும் இப்டி எல்லாம் பேர் வைக்க மாட்டாங்க - இது என் Neverlandla மட்டும் தான் இருக்குது - copyright, சாட்ஷாத் நானே தாங்க!), I see that I've not really used any of their resources fully. True! I've used some more than others and some less. But not all of it! (குடுத்த காசுக்கு use பண்ணோமா, இல்லையே? இதுல, சில பில்டிங்கு உள்ள எல்லாம் போனது கூட இல்ல - coz அந்த majorkum எனக்கும் ஸ்நான ப்ராப்தி கூட இல்ல.)

But I also think that I've spent all the two years in grad life to the hilt. I've had fun in all those places. Conclusion: Though the resources are available, my usage of them is limited by my time, priorities and the opportunities that come through. I have memories of all of them and its these memories that would keep me linked with Neverland. Love Neverland!

[அட! அட! அட! என்ன conclusion! புல்லரிக்குது! Effect of thesis work! But still, எல்லாம் உண்மை தாங்க. இந்த enjoyment periodla, சிலது எழுதி இருக்கேன், பலது எழுதினது இல்ல. இனியாவது எழுத idea! வெட்டி Officera இருக்கிற போற timela இதெல்லாம் பண்ணனும். Atleast எழுதலைனாலும், கொஞ்சம் நெறைய round அடிக்கற வேல வச்சு இருக்கேன்! So, எல்லா இடமும் போய் நல்லா பார்த்துட்டு, ஒரு good bye சொல்லிட்டு வந்தா தான் மனசு ஆறும். இனி வர்ர கொஞ்ச நாள், ஒரே மலரும் நினைவுகள் postaa தான் இருக்கும் nu பக்ஷி சொல்லுது. எல்லாரும் அத poruthukonga. முடிஞ்ச அளவு மொக்கையா இல்லாம பார்த்துகறேன்!]

PS: [இன்னும் கெளம்புவேனா, இல்ல இங்கயே settle ஆவேனானு தெரியல! அது D-dayku அப்றோம் தான்! ஆனாலும், pass ஆயிடுவோம்ற நம்பிக்கைல, அடுத்து என்ன பண்றதுன்னு மூளை இப்போவே பிளான் பண்ணுது! என் ஆசிரியர் இத பார்த்தா, tension ஆயிடுவார். ஏன்னா, அவர் எனக்கு வேற வேல வச்சு இருக்கார்! அது ஏங்க, நமக்கும் நம்ம ஆசிரியருக்கும் sync ஆகவே மாட்டேன்து? ஸ்டில், எதுக்கும் ஒரு குட்டி plan நல்லதுதானே? இதெல்லாம் think panrapovae, சீக்கிரம் வேலைய முடிக்கணும், இதெல்லாம் பண்ணனும்னு தோணுது... still, பாப்போம்! D-day வந்தா தான் தெரியும்!]

PPS: [எல்லாரும் கடவுள்ட நல்லா வேண்டிகோங்க. உங்க Alpine, சீக்கிரம் நல்லபடியா pass ஆகனும்னு! Will keep you posted!]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The seed!

This is a forward from one of my friends. Though I've read this one a number of times already through forward chain mails, something about it struck me today. Guess that since I'm in the reaping stage in one way and sowing stage in the other that makes it striking. Have fun!

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however.
He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company
brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives..

Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees,and flowers you have grown," said the CEO "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.

"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed.. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

Just remember that what you sow, you will have to reap it later. It applies for happiness, sorrow, kindness, anger, etc. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stock taking in Neverland

Been a crazy week, with nothing to do on the Monday and a pile of work to do on the Friday. But I caught up with some of the things in life and am really glad for the breathing space just before the D-day arrives.Yup! I'm waiting for the D-day. But more on it as the day gets closer. A quick run of what's going on in Neverland (yeah! that is where I live!):
  • We had yet another last event, the Vishu potluck which was nice. I made only rice for I had forgotten all about it and didn't have time to cook in the end (if AS hadn't reminded me, I would have missed a potluck! Damn! that is a terrible sin in grad life and I was about to commit it!). But thankfully, my friends needed rice and I was glad my forgetfulness turned out for good :D
  • The movie and chai after the potluck at a friend's place was good too! I got another glimpse into the complexity of people's lives. Just a word: Nice!
  • I had another last, my last staff meeting at my workplace. It was kind of good but I started feeling detached (might be because of some ruffled feathers that I saw in workplace). Though I was sad, I am ready to let go. More on my workplace in a later post! But they surprised me with a sweet gift! :) So thoughtful of them!
  • I learnt the same lesson yet another time. Guess I'm becoming too stubborn a student to even remember a simple lesson from life. Totally yucky!
  • Got to hear C sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". In her voice, the song is all the more sweeter. She made my day! Guess I'm going to pamper her all the more as she grows up :D
  • My last cabinet meeting and delegate meeting got over this week. I'm happy for all that I got to do in it. It was an exciting time and I got to meet a lot of American grad students and find what they think/talk/do in life. Its a small slice but I'm glad I got a chance to explore it!
  • My last official pg meeting also got done last week. I'm sure going to miss it. But I guess some more tweaking to its structure would really help everyone a lot more. But who will bell the cat?
  • My budget board meeting is wrapping up this week. It was a fantastic time with them and impressive to see how money is being allocated across the Neverland. Talking about huge amounts here! No wonder that money tends to become numbers beyond a point! I can now easily think in terms of 100,000s as I did with 100s. But it is yet another experience to let me grasp the real finances going on. And I'm glad for it!
  • Whenever I cook chicken, the dish comes out different. That is the boon and bane of cooking! But I guess I'll start liking to cook sooner rather than later. Its fun to experiment and all the more fun to get someone else to eat it and go ga-ga [evil grin]. But seriously, now I make basic good food (something I thought was NEVER possible) and am ready to explore the more exotic ones (effect of being with AS, my roomie and K, my next-next-block mate). Gee! I'm waiting for Summer.
  • Cleaning and sorting all through the week is a BORING job. But I came across a lot of stuff that I forgotten and they reminded me of Alpine two years ago. Some were nice, some were not (as in they didn't go as I expected them to) and some sprang a surprise. But it was a heaven of a journey (is there such an expression?) and I wouldn't trade it! Glad I took time to sort through stuff before I move the Neverland.
  • I met an Indian freshman here. When she heard that I was finishing up, she said "Wow!!" and THAT made me feel old. Damn! I had given the same expression to my seniors (all the final years and third years of 20**, I'm really sorry!) and they had brushed it off. Guess its payback time! Ouch! it does hurt!
  • Its always nice to fall asleep and have a friend wake you up at odd hours to talk to you. My friend would have wondered why I was not coherent for the first five minutes and how I could speak philosophy in the next ten minutes. And I dropped a bottle of water on my bed in the process! Its overloading the sills, I tell you! Any connection between the two events is purely coincidental :D
Now that the stock taking is over, I guess I'll get back to some more chiseling of the iceberg in my room (aka) catching up with long-lost stuff that I conveniently forgot in Neverland. Ciao! till then and wish that I come out unscathed this D-day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Upside down?

This is in reply to one of my friend's requests. He has put up a picture on his blog and asked some of us to come up with suitable poems. Here is mine:

I woke up from my sleep
The breeze was caressing me
I unfurled my petals
The world smiled in glee

I saw a pretty girl
Talking without a care
She exclaimed
"Its blue up there"

And I looked up
All I saw was green
With some brown
in the 'tween

Am I looking up
And the world looking down?
Or is the world right
With me upside down?
-Alpine path

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another last!

Last Saturday, we had Tamil New Year celebrations at my university. Last year was a lot of fun and I had a memorable time with friends. I also got to host an event, plan for it and do impromptu stuff that was also on the lighter vein. The lighter vein was a first for me.

This year, again came the Tamil New year celebrations. And, I got to host that event again. It was so much fun and I got so sad at the end because it would be my last participation in this event. Yup! I wouldn't be here next year. Some observations on today:
  • Each year, the flavor is different. I liked both this year and last. But my position had changed. Last year, I was the person running around doing stuff. This year, I can happily see the batons changing hands. And, the juniors ran around now! Yay! I love this part of graduation.
  • There were some incidents that would have made me queasy last year. This year, though, I brushed it aside and did what was possible and best for all. I finally learnt a teeny weeny part of the lesson "You can't expect people to change, lite it and move on!"
  • I couldn't help everyone to participate in it but I sure wanted to... It was loads of fun though!
  • Last year's show dragged a bit, but this year, the show was lightning fast. And I had hoped for a lightning show last time (because I was so nervous) and a longer show this time (because I wanted one last time to do it). Well! Life gives you what you wish for... just at a different time! Talk about Time's warped sense of humor!! 
  • The co-hosts' flavors also made a LOT of difference to the show. Last year, again, I was learning the ropes and had G teach them to me. This year, I was teaching it to DS. The funny thing is, both were classmates in college. I have SOME connection with their batch. I get to do loads of stuff with their batch.
  • There are still some people who infuriate me. I want to bash their heads. Grrrr!!!
  • I got some great acquaintences that night. It was fun sharing things with them!
  • There is a lot more I need to learn with regard to balancing things.  It is amazing how some people get Stuff done and are still happy with personal life. Kudos to them!
  • We did our usual Tech snap :D Can't finish without it!! 
In all, it was a memorable experience. I'm sure I'm going to miss it in future! But I'm also satisfied that I did my part in making life more fun for all of us and look forward to other opportunities. End of one part of my life at B! Sigh! Another Last!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Reviews, reviews and reviews!

If I had thought writing was not much fun, reviews are even less so. Though my friends and advisor are working with me to get things into shape (read keeping the grain and burning away the chaff in the thesis - otherwise, how to reduce 90 odd pages down to 60?), its still mind boggling in that I have to concentrate on so many small details and make sure each of them is 'just' right. I'm literally sweating the small stuff :D. But the thought that I'm just weeks away from my defense motivates me to go through it all. Yup! Unless things go south (badly south!) from here, I should be done soon!
Dreaming on.....

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Trends of politics?

Is it the latest fashion to throw things (shoes are most preferred) at politicians?
First, it was Bush, past US President (then present):

And now it is Chidambaram(Home Minister, India):

Tch! Tch!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Into the last run....

Here I am... typing day and night, trying to fit in two years of my work into 70 pages(and that, others say, is still more than the average by 8!). I would rather code another module than have to write a technical thesis. There! I said it! I, who love writing, actually said I prefer doing something else to writing. And that is how bad it is really!

It is not really the writing that bothers me. Come on! I can produce good writing if I set my mind to it. But it is the impending deadline(this Tuesday) that is really nerve wracking. And I'm one of those poor souls who actually try to relax first and then look at the deadline. So, to relieve stress, I take up a book or watch a movie or go to a game or write a post or ..... you get the drift!

And then, I'm late again! And I have to rush --> my stress builds up --> back to square one. Do you see a cycle here? I do, and I can't break it! Worse, I don't really want to break it for its loads of fun all through. 

One of my friends (lets call her sane Jane) heard this predicament of mine and she said that I should follow my head and not my heart in these issues. But I so love it while it lasts! The first stress attack, the following fun break(whatever and however long that lasts!), the guilt trip at the end of it, the justifications, the second stress attack and goes on... Even now, I know that I should be back at work, typing something here, rephrasing something there. But I would rather have to do things in a shot and get smaller bites done with rather than do something day in and day out till the entire thing finishes and then relax for days to end till the next big thing starts. For I'm sure I would get bored by continuous work and continuous play. Guess its the Libran in me kicking up asking for balance in all, more importantly, balance in work and play!

And the second thing is, thesis writing is a journey in itself. Though you may get help from your friends (they listen to your rants (I've said everything from running off to the moon to time traveling to my future skipping this part), they make sure you eat well, they take your mind off your thesis for sometime, they do your shopping for you(thanks RP! I don't know how MANY times I've asked you get me stuff), etc etc), your advisor, your labmates and of course, your family (Airtel would've gotten a hefty profit just because of my calling home every single day and ranting for an hour! Its a wonder that my mom doesn't take the next flight, come here and write my thesis for me! She sure is a patient woman!), you have to go through it alone. You make the thesis, word by word, line by line and there you are! One day, the thesis is done, you don't have anything to add to it, anything to remove from it and you are happy in some sense. I've started feeling it with one or two chapters already but I'm pushing through for the whole thesis. Hope I get there soon and can capture that moment of happiness forever in my heart and mind and blog so that I can get it back whenever I want, wherever I want to cud chew it through in future times of quiet reflection.

Till then, back to work and see you later......

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A random post....

[Note: This post might/will not make sense to most people, so if you have something better to do, go and do it!]
  • Writing is a pleasure... but writing technical stuff that has to be approved by your advisor is so NOT FUN.
  • As you get closer to the D-day, butterflies fly in your stomach (atleast they do in mine!).
  • Not knowing if you'll have your D-day as planned is so damn stressful.
  • A place that I go to for total relaxation: R & G's place. All the time I was there last evening, I totally forgot about my thesis. And that is a BIG thing at this point of time. Thanks, guys! I sure needed that break!
  • Discussions about life over hot chai and savouries still rank top among the best ways to spend time.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith might turn out to be in my favorite movies list.(haven't watched it fully yet, but from what I saw, its good enough)
  • Not that it is a big deal, but I finally know who Brad Pitt is now(I know! Don't rub it in!)
  • I need people. Period. Even if I don't see them all the time, I need people in the same house that I am in... when my roomies go to their labs to conduct experiments, I either run to my lab or to my friends' place.
  • I discovered some great addons to Firefox that make my digital packrat uber happy!
  • Sometimes, thesis writing speeds up like the Shadhabti express and sometimes it chugs along like the passenger. And sometimes, it just stops like the Pallavan!
  • I need to get a mountain of work done in a week's time. I'm not sure if I can pull it off, but this is an interesting challenge. 
  • Thunk! Thunk! (hitting my head hard on a pillar for letting things pile up)
  • Get that done NOW!
Ok! Enough of chit chat! Back to work!
[P.S: I won't be around for another week! Have a great week and be safe, till then!] 
[P.P.S: I might break that too... so, just "see you till next time!"]